The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has thrown its weight behind the decision by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to split Mass Communication degree into seven new programmes.
This was made known by the National President of the Union, Chris Isiguzo, in a chat with newsmen.
As reported in universityworldnews.com, Isiguzo said: “We are party to the unbundling exercise. In fact, we initiated the idea. This is what is obtainable in developed countries, so we’re trying to catch up.”
He also noted that the NUJ, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and the Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union were all in support of the idea.
Recall that the NUC recently announced the approval of a new curriculum which split mass communication into seven new programmes.
The implementation of the new programmes in the 2020 academic year was announced in the NUC Monday Bulletin of December 2019, which quotes NUC Executive Secretary Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed as saying it was a result of massive reforms initiated by the commission over the last three years and was aimed at overhauling the Nigerian university system.
The seven new degree programmes include journalism and media studies; public relations; advertising; broadcasting; film and multi-media studies; development communication studies; and information and media studies.
They are intended to replace the single bachelor degree in mass communication that has been offered in Nigerian universities for nearly 60 years. About 67 universities currently offer the mass communication degree, with over 20,000 students enrolled.
The University of Nigeria, Nsukka was the first university to introduce the mass communication qualification in 1961, while others such as the University of Lagos followed in 1966. Today the degree ranks as high as medicine and law in terms of admission numbers.
Several Mass Communication departments across the country have already started working out plans on how to split their programme into the new ones approved by the NUC, although most of them are beginning with about three or four of the new ones.